Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Deb Perelman

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
Ganache Filling:
16 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
2 to 4 tsp Irish whiskey
Baileys Frosting:
4 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 cups confectioner's sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream
Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag.

Make the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. With a mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling

Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes

Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom, aim for 2/3 of the way. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Prepare the frosting

Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. (Add the sugar slowly, so the quick buttercream frostings will be less grainy and require less sugar to thicken them up.)

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the refrigerator for a day (Longer, they will start to get stale).

Makes 24 servings
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 15-17 Minutes

Per serving: 469 calories; 27g total fat; 16g saturated fat; 77mg cholesterol; 188mg sodium; 55g total carbohydrates; 3g dietary fiber; 4g protein;

Allergy Warning: Contains milk and eggs and wheat